August 23, 2006
Liz published this at 11:36 am
Does Your Email Make People Crazy?
How many emails are in your in-box?
How long does it take you to find one you might want?
Do you think about that when you write an email? I’d be delighted if you would.
You may think that email is easy, but I have to tell you. I’m writing this post for a reason. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten some emails that have really concerned me with how folks are doing email business.
Here’s a quote from one:
I don’t know you. I’ve never read your blog. Would you come look at mine and see whether I can be an SOB?
I didn’t love that email.
But that’s a gross point. I’ve also picked up some finer points of managing and sending email to business associates that I bet that even you might not have run into.
10 +1 Things to Make Me Love Your Business Email
As with everything in business, email is about execution and helping out the other person. Anyway you can make my life easier — in this case organize my email — makes you my email hero. Make it harder and I duck when I see your email coming.
Here are 10 + 1 ways to make me love your business email.
1. Don’t take away my generosity by expecting things. If you email me for the first time, do what you can to solve your own problem. Find out who I am before you ask me to do something for you. Don’t write as though I spend my time waiting for your email to come. I work for a living. This is the single biggest problem — via phone call and email — I found freelancers had in all of my years of publishing.
2. Always allow me to opt out. If there are sensitive souls involved in a project, let’s decide together who will be included in receiving what. I’ll be grateful for the chance to opt out of emails that I don’t need.
3. If you have ongoing email reports on projects or events, consider developing a checklist form. Make a simple form that I can sign up for email annoucements of the type I wish to get.
4. Whenever possible limit email and put regular information in a status report. Emails interrupt me. A status report comes out less frequently and keeps the information organized for me. Status reports make you look professional and give me the comfort. I can quickly learn where to look if I have a worry.
5. Always write a subject line that is relevant to me. If you sent me a proposal, don’t put my company name in the subject line. Put yours. Name the document by your name as well. I don’t need another document with the name of my own company on it.
6. If you remember to change the subject line on replies to reflect new information in the reply, I will think you are a godsend.
7. It never hurts to say “hello,” and recognize me as a person before you launch into your message, but please don’t write me a letter. I like to share a personal thought to know that the relationship is working well, but work is what the email is about and I have 63 other things calling for my attention.
8. Concise and upbeat are always nice. Information without value judgment is most important.
9. If you ask questions, propose solutions. That cuts the email cycle dramatically.
10. If you don’t need a response, feel free to say so. “No response necessary” is a phrase that is grossly underused.
PLUS ONE GREAT ONE: If you can fit your message in the subject line, do. Then write
Brand yourself and your business as productive and professional by organizing my email for me. I’ll remember your savvy every time I check my email.
Are there email tricks that you know? Let’s make the longest, email business power list we can put together here.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you think Liz can help with a problem you’re having with your writing, check out the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.